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The recovery of the detection method for Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water

Het rendement van de detectiemethode voor Cryptosporidium en Giardia in water


Dutch drinking water legislation requires drinking water companies to perform a quantitative risk assessment for Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The risk of infection through consumption of drinking water should be below one infection in 10,000 persons per year. Risk assessment is based on the number of Cryptosporidium and Giardia detected in the raw water and the elimination capacity of the drinking water treatment processes. This is because concentrations in the drinking water are usually below the limit of detection of the method used. To avoid overestimation of the risk of infection it is important to enumerate (oo)cysts and to determine (oo)cyst recovery as precisely as possible. The detection method for Cryptosporidium and Giardia in water is complex and hampered by a variable, and usually low, recovery. RIVM and Kiwa have developed a protocol for the standardised performance of recovery experiments to reduce variability and to increase recovery. Both institutes performed a series of recovery experiments using this protocol. Data analyses resulted in a pooled average recovery for Giardia of 9.5 % . Cryptosporidium data could not be pooled due to significant differences between the two laboratories; for RIVM the average recovery was 27 % and for Kiwa it was 34 %. Site specific water quality factors may influence (oo)cyst recovery and therefore site specific recovery databases should be built up. They can only be added to the existing database after proving that no significant differences between sites exist. Although standardised performance of recovery tests only resulted in marginal improvements in (oo)cyst recovery and at the moment means to establish further improvements are lacking, the protocol is considered useful and applicable.

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